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J. Richard Messick, 80, of Ephrata, PA, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Sunday evening, October 20, 2013 at United Zion Retirement Community, Lititz, PA following declining health. Born and raised in the Mount Joy area, he was the son of the late Marvin M. and Miriam Brubaker Messick. He was the husband of Mardell E. Garman Myer Messick. They would have been married for 59 years on October 23.
Richard was a faithful member of Akron Church of the Brethren where he was called as a lifetime deacon and served for 40 years. He also served the church by teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and chairing the building committee of the present church. After graduating from the former Mount Joy High School in 1951, he attended Elizabethtown College and studied business administration. He went on to make a career out of his interest in all makes and models of automobiles. He was first employed by the former S.F. Ulrich Buick and Chevrolet dealership in Elizabethtown, PA before owning Messick Chevrolet in Ephrata from 1955-1980. During the late 1960s, he also owned Camp Post for 4 years. Later in life, he was employed as a warehouse manager by Direct Wire and Cable, as well as being a distributor of dietary suppliments and vitamins at Ephrata Farmers' Market and as a route builder by Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.
In addition to being a grillmaster and listening to Southern Gospel music, he enjoyed playing board and card games, always offering gentle encouragement to young players. He will be remembered by his family for making family meals and holidays particularly special.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Cheryl L., wife of Donald L. Walters, of Ephrata, Brenda S. Lorah of Ephrata, Wendell S., husband of Margery L. Moyer Messick, of Adamstown, PA, and Jason R., husband of Elena Bernabe Messick, of Reno, Nevada; eight grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and a sister, Ruth A. Martin, of Lititz, PA. He was preceded in death by a sister Miriam Jean Graybill.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday morning, October 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Akron Church of the Brethren, 613 Main Street, Akron, PA with Pastor Thomas M. Weber officiating. Private interment will be in Memory Gardens, Ephrata. There will be no public viewing. The family will receive guests at the church on Saturday morning from 10:00 AM until the time of the service. The family requests that flowers please be omitted. If desired, contributions may be made to Vision Corps, 244 North Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603. A webcast of the service will be available beginning the day following the service at www.spencefuneralservices.com.